Israel strikes 'dozens' of Iranian targets in Syria

14 May, 2018, 18:16 | Author: Carlos George
  • Israel strikes 'dozens' of Iranian targets in Syria

The sanctions issue has added to tensions between the USA and its European allies over the nuclear deal.

"Now, with the victory of the Assad-Iran side, Iran's main spoils is a long-term military presence in Syria, entrenching it in the country and linking it to Lebanon". They tried again on Wednesday night, firing 20 rockets at IDF positions on the Golan Heights.

Israel has warned it will not tolerate its archenemy Iran establishing a military presence on its doorstep. Israel is far from the only country concerned with Iranian interference in Middle East affairs.

That is part of a flurry of diplomatic activity lined up following Tuesday's unilateral withdrawal from what US President Donald Trump called "a frightful, one-sided deal", a move accompanied by the threat of penalties against any foreign firms doing business in Iran.

The pressure on Iran has increased now that it is nearly surrounded geographically in Syria.

The confrontation came two days after the United States announced its withdrawal, with Israel's encouragement, from a 2015 nuclear accord with Iran. It has built and trained large Shiite militias with thousands of fighters and sent advisers from its powerful Revolutionary Guards Corps to Syrian military bases.

It also has spy drones that it can use to attack from the sky.

The IDF says its major strikes in Syria have set back Iran's military infrastructure in that country by many months. An Israeli warplane was shot down during the battle. "However, if the Syrian military acts against us, we will act against it", he said.

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Israel said it attacked Iranian intelligence facilities and logistics compounds, a military base and other posts, as well as munition storage warehouses of the Quds forces at Damascus worldwide airport. Israeli civilians on the Golan Heights were told they could close their bomb shelters, which had been open since Tuesday.

"This is exactly what happened yesterday Syrian military batteries fired surface-to-air missiles against us and, therefore, we attacked them", Netanyahu said.

With Trump's backing, Israel may even feel emboldened to take further pre-emptive action against Iranian targets in Syria.

Southern Lebanon's rolling hills bordering Israel are another arena of influence for Tehran through its Lebanese proxy, Hezbollah.

Iran and Israel are enemies but have never fought a direct war.

An evening earlier, Israel had struck targets in Syria after detecting what Israeli officials said were suspicious military movements, reportedly killing an additional eight Iranians. Russian Federation is the major power broker in Syria, where its military intervention turned the tide in favor of government forces, and Israel coordinates military action there with Moscow. Iran is not likely to give up on its goals in Syria after expending so much effort in the civil war there.

UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson in a statement, responding to Iranian airstrikes against Israeli forces said: "We strongly support Israel's right to defend itself". The Saudis threatened to make war on Hezbollah late past year when the terrorist group fired a missile at the Saudi Kingdom from Yemen.

"For the first time, Iran has the chance to show the world they are not the rogue nation they are always presented as, that they negotiated in good faith and keep to their commitments", said Karim Emile Bitar, of the Institute for worldwide and Strategic Affairs in Paris.

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